#036;6 million warehouse slated for downtown

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 13, 2005

By fall, the city will have much-needed warehouse space available for lease near the downtown area.

On Wednesday, the Industrial Development Authority and the Colorado-based Triumph Real Estate Corp. sealed a deal to build a 135,000-square-foot warehouse/distribution center in Suffolk Industrial Park.

The $6 million building will provide space, ranging from 25,000- to 135,000- square feet, for as many as five tenants, said Tom O’Grady, the city’s director of economic development.

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&uot;This is a great asset for us to use in attracting new industry,&uot; O’Grady said. &uot;There is so little vacant light industrial space available in the area.

&uot;Most businesses looking for space want it to be available within 30 to 60 days. They don’t want to have to build their own facility.&uot;

Construction on the building, located on 10.5 acres in the Carolina Road industrial park, will begin in March, said John P. Ruff, director of Triumph’s eastern region. The company is buying the land from the IDA for $264,250.

The building will feature tinted storefront glass and a tilt-up concrete construction system, making it one of the most durable types of buildings in the industry, said Patrick Gill, first vice president of CB Richard Ellis.

The building will also feature individual tenant entrances, with plenty of employee parking in the front and a truck court in the back.

Triumph came to Suffolk after Ruff, a Williamsburg resident for the past decade, observed the recent growth of Suffolk and the nearby Hampton Roads port.

Ruff called to his son, the owner of Triumph, about the possibility of investing in Suffolk.

&uot;We thought it seemed like a good opportunity for the company,&uot; Ruff said.

Although Triumph owns property in 17 states, its only other site in Virginia is a small commercial facility in Richmond, Ruff said.

&uot;But we are looking at other sites in the (Suffolk) marketplace for future expansion,&uot; said Gill.

Although ground hasn’t been broken on the project, prospective tenants are already looking at the site.

&uot;We had an interested party out there yesterday,&uot; O’Grady said. &uot;We will be aggressively helping to market the property.&uot;

Suffolk Industrial Park, which began developing in 1998, has grown rapidly, particularly with last year’s sale of the IDA shell building.

&uot;The IDA paved the way with its shell building,&uot; said O’Grady. &uot;Now the private sector is coming in and making investments in speculative buildings.&uot;